Grass fire in Rye fully contained; all evacuations and pre-evacuations lifted

The fire started in the Rye area southwest of Pueblo. Heavy smoke and even flames could be seen from the wooded area off of Highway 165. The fire burned at least 127 acres, including an outbuilding in the area. It was the only building that was impacted.
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 7:19 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2022 at 10:17 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A fire burning in southwest Pueblo County grew slightly overnight and was fully contained Tuesday afternoon.

The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office says all pre-evacuations have been lifted as of Tuesday. The mandatory evacuations expired Monday night.

The Old San Isabel Fire started off the road of the same name in the Rye area around noon Monday. Heavy smoke and flames could be seen.

“Response time for the first truck for the fire was probably within five to seven minutes. They were already up here in the area and they saw that starts so they were able to respond right away, said Rye Fire Chief Steven Bennett.

Multiple fire crews were at the scene for hours battling the flames, reaching 85 percent containment by nightfall.

Bennett told 11 News strong winds made fighting the blaze difficult.

“The winds are coming from multiple directions. It’s not just going one direction. That made it a little hard to try and compensate that fire because it was going different directions and with the wind being anywhere from 25 to 45 mph that made it hard to catch up to that fire.”

The fire mostly burned in grass but did push into the nearby hills, he said.

The cold and wet weather Tuesday has made the firefight significantly easier.

The fire burned about 137 acres, including an outbuilding in the area. It was the only building damaged. Eight agencies from Rye, Bealuh, Pueblo and others helped battle the fire. Students from District 70′s mountain schools were evacuated while the fire was actively burning.

“We got a call from the [Pueblo County] sheriff’s department saying that there was a fire just on the other side of the ridge. Up until the wind came up, we weren’t too worried about it. The wind came up and crossed and it got a little close for comfort. We then decided to evacuate,” said Chris Slobodnik, District 70′s assistant director of student services. “It was your normal forest fire up here. It was a lot of smoke and a lot if we could see from the south side of Pueblo too. It looked pretty rough.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.